Photo of Breanne A. Gilpatrick

Breanne Gilpatrick is a litigation associate and a member of Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice. Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Breanne clerked for the Honorable Raymond W. Gruender on the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Breanne graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Breanne graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University, where she majored in journalism and political science.

Before practicing law, Breanne spent three years as a political reporter for The Miami Herald, where she covered the 2008 presidential election and three sessions of the Florida Legislature.

Read Breanne's full bio.

We recently posted about the decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in Manor Care Inc. v. Douglas, — S.E.2d —-, 2014 WL 2835831 (W. Va. June 18, 2014), to cut a multimillion-dollar punitive award by more than half in a case against a Charleston nursing home.  In our prior post, which is available here, we commented on the court’s decision to reduce the punitive  damages proportionately (from $80 million to about $32 million) after it reduced the compensatory damages from $11.5 million to $4.6 million.

Map-US w-WVa magnified_7903574The West Virginia court’s decision to afford a proportionate reduction of the punitive damages after vacating part of the compensatory damages raises is noteworthy, but it may be even more striking that the court refused to reduce the $32 million punishment any further.  In an opinion that shows little inclination to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s guidance that high awards of compensatory damages require lower ratios, the West Virginia Supreme held that the 7:1 ratio between punitive and compensatory damages was not excessive.  The decision suggests that large companies hit with very large verdicts in West Virginia state court may have difficulty obtaining any reduction of the punitive damages as long as the ratio is lower than 10:1 and the court deems the conduct to be highly reprehensible.Continue Reading West Virginia Supreme Court Of Appeals Upholds $32 Million Punitive Damages Award Against Nursing Home